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The Shouting Men column: Gills striker Brandon Hanlan keen for another goal against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

I haven’t played much in the FA Cup and I want to have a story to tell.

I saw most of last season’s competition from the sidelines.

Brandon Hanlan will be hoping to make a name for himself in the FA Cup
Brandon Hanlan will be hoping to make a name for himself in the FA Cup

We beat Cardiff at home last season and Listy scored a last minute winner. When that happens all eyes are on you. He definitely had a smile on his face after that.

I was on the bench for that game and came on for the last 10-15 minutes against Swansea in the next round.

Hopefully I am more involved this time, we can get a good run going and we can get as far as we can.

I remember playing Hartlepool away in the first round replay last season.

We didn’t play well, we were 2-0 down at half-time, and the then gaffer Steve Lovell went mad at half-time. He ripped into me and I remember it well.

Brandon Hanlan was subbed at half-time in the game against Hartlepool and felt the wrath of then Gills boss Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry
Brandon Hanlan was subbed at half-time in the game against Hartlepool and felt the wrath of then Gills boss Steve Lovell Picture: Ady Kerry

I didn’t have the greatest of games first half. He was a nice guy most of the time but he can rip into you if he felt like he needed to.

I don’t think I was myself that game and I was substituted at the break for Listy, who got one of the goals in extra-time. I wasn’t really involved much after that.

When I first saw the draw for this season’s first round I thought ‘that’s not easy’ but at the same time anything can happen in the FA Cup. We have to go there with a level head and put in a performance that hopefully puts us through to the next round.

I scored at Sunderland last year in the league and we played alright. I remember Connor Ogilvie flicked it in the box and I tapped it in, a little poacher’s finish. The first half was close, 2-2, but they started to open up second half and won it 4-2.

There is a great atmosphere there and when they score the whole place is rocking. You hear them screaming throughout the game but then when you score, it is just silent and such a good feeling. Scoring anywhere is good but it feels really good infront of a big crowd.

Brandon Hanlan challenges with Jimmy Dunne in the league game at Sunderland last season
Brandon Hanlan challenges with Jimmy Dunne in the league game at Sunderland last season

I should have more goals this season but I have put in some good performances and played in most of the games.

I feel like I can get better and better. I need to get my head down, push forward, score more and see where we can go as a team.

I am working hard on the pitch, running the channels, getting on the ball, doing a lot to try and get a goal, but it hasn’t been falling for me.

There is time to go on a little run. If we start picking up results, the team gets more confident and the goals will come. I just have to keep believing and keep doing things right.

You never lose that belief, you can’t, football can change in an instant. One time you can be here and the next you are there.

Brandon Hanlan celebrates a goal against Southend United Picture: Andy Jones
Brandon Hanlan celebrates a goal against Southend United Picture: Andy Jones

I know the goals will come. I got them last season, I don’t see why I can’t get them again.

Last weekend’s result wasn’t great and the fans deserve more. When we have played teams like Ipswich and Peterborough and been 1-0 down and pushing, the fans have backed us and it gives you a little extra boost.

There was an incident against Rotherham last Saturday involving myself that could have changed the game.

I went down, there was contact, and it probably would have been a red card as he was the last man.

That 3-0 scoreline was harsh but we could have done better and we just need to be a bit more consistent, especially at home. We can’t dwell on it and we’re all looking forward to Sunderland now.

This challenge by Michael Ihiekwe on Brandon Hanlan could have been a game-changer against Rotherham United Picture: Ady Kerry
This challenge by Michael Ihiekwe on Brandon Hanlan could have been a game-changer against Rotherham United Picture: Ady Kerry

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